Probably the most serendipitous event in 2012 (so far) — I’m working as a design intern at a local firm! The local AIGA chapter hosted a mentor/protege meetup in Feb and I thought it’d be worth a shot to meet and greet some local talent. I borrowed a friend’s iPad, prepared my WIP portfolio (which you can peep on this very site) and had 10 five-minute meetings with the mentors: Creative directors, business owners, professors and design nerds.
I was among maybe 16 other proteges — the majority of them either design students or recent design grads. I repeated a spiel to everyone I chatted with; I was a journo graduate who discovered graphic design late in my college career and had done some freelance work since getting my degree. The majority of proteges and mentors suggested that I go back to school or, at the very least, take classes in composition, typography and related courses. Because of the limited amount of time available, I couldn’t show every mentor my portfolio, but those who did see it had more optimistic comments and advice. Truly made me feel as if I’d accomplished something, despite not having an actual presentable portfolio.
One of the mentors and I had a great conversation and he fell in love with my limited amount of work. A few days later around 8am, I received an email from him detailing a freelance project — a local restaurateur needed a logo for a place he was opening. Shortly after the email, he called and requested that we talk about it in person over lunch that day. I’d made a positive impression on him and he was confident enough to give me this project, based on an unfinished portfolio and my dorky ramblings on designers I like.
During that meeting, he asked if I would consider an internship with his company. I’ve only truly been floored a handful of times in my life. I felt like a minor god when I left the restaurant.
I’ve learned so much in the past month and I hope I can push the internship into a full-time position, but as I’ve said before, I’ve got a lot to learn.